Lyon State Fishing Lake

This lake is in the tallgrass prairie but much of it is bordered by red cedar, rough-leaved dogwood, smooth sumac, hackberry, and elm. Meadowlarks, mourning doves, Bell's vireos, rufous-sided towhees, and bobwhite quail nest here. In the spring, you can locate booming grounds of the greater prairie chicken by driving along the roads at sunrise and listening carefully for the "cackling" and "cooing" sounds. During migrations the lake attracts ducks and geese and several species of songbirds, including Harris' sparrows, cardinals, robins, and tree sparrows. Long-eared owls sometimes roost in the cedar trees during winter.

In the woodlands, watch for white-tailed deer, fox squirrels, and the nests of eastern wood rats. These large, domed, stick nests built around the base of a tree, or sometimes several feet off the ground, are quite visible. To birders, the area is probably best known as a place to find Smith's longspurs. To find these birds, be prepared for a challenge and walk the mowed hayfields on the south side of the lake. Watch for small flocks of buff-colored birds about the size of sparrows with a white shoulder patch and white outer tail feathers. During summer these birds return to the high arctic to nest.

bulletRestrooms, Picnic tables, Boat ramp, Swimming beach, Picnic Shelter.

Camping icon Primitive camping only.

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Trail icon No developed trails.

Click here to get county birding lists for Kansas. Click the icon to find a birding list for Lyon County.

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Lyon State Lake map

Directions: From the intersection of 1-35 and K-99, on the north edge of Emporia, travel north on K-99 for 13 miles. Follow K-170 east for 2 miles to the lake entrance.

Location in Kansas

The Google Map for this site is here.

Ownership: The entity responsible for management of Lyon State Fishing Lake is  the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism.  Contact them at (620) 431-0380 if you have specific questions about use or management of the site.

582 acres

Visit their website for more information.
You may download the KDWPT brochure on Lyon State Fishing Lake and Wildlife Area from their web site.

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